SotR: The State of Healing

SotR - The State of Healing

Last weekend, I was leveling my Druid (AKA pretending at being a boomkin BADLY) with my friend Finalflame’s Priest.  We managed to get both to Level 90, and then we began piecing together the best iLevel gear we could find for his Priest.  We fairly easily got her to LFR, and I accompanied him with my Paladin, Lazheward.  (Yes, yes, the gender-reversal did not escape either of us.  lol)

I quickly remembered how much I enjoy healing on my Pally!

Granted, his gear is a tad high for Mogu’Shan Vaults LFR (about 501), but there were fights where he pushed nearly 40% of the overall heals, similar to my Monk’s recent LFR adventures.  Even with his gear, this surprised me.

Final was doing incredible as Holy for his entry-level gear, but OOM’ing himself regularly.

As the day and the LFR’s progressed, we chatted about what I was doing, what he was doing, what could be improved.

Healing with Laz

Healing with Laz

Many a time, Final bemoaned the fact that there was nothing to heal.  (Sorry!)  This, while I continually cast spells, and rarely stopped even when I had to move out of bad on the floor.

That was when it hit me…

On my Monk, I never stop casting unless I have to.  I am maintaining Renewing Mist.  I am Uplifting.  I am filling in with Soothing Mist to keep my Chi flowing.  I am using Thunder Focus Tea on cooldown to lengthen my Renewing Mist ticks.  I am using Mana Tea on cooldown, along with my Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault, to manage my mana.

But my Monk is a constant flow of casting/spending: mana -> Chi -> Mana Tea -> mana -> etc.

Healing with Iree (Fist-weaving)

Healing with Iree (Fist-weaving)

I then thought back onto some of the frustrations of doing LFR with my Shaman recently.  During T14, when I was still raiding on my Shaman, I excelled with single-target healing.  I rarely touched my Healing Rain or my Chain Heal.  This had carried over with me from all of Cataclysm – I enjoy the triage healing that was introduced there.  But I realized in recent LFRs, that that is not performing as well as we move further through T15.  I bemoaned this fact to our guild’s now-sole Resto Shaman, Walterpayton, and he agreed with me, but admitted that Unleash Elements -> Healing Rain -> Chain Heal -> Chain Heal -> Chain Heal was his new mantra for Shaman healing.  I tried this, and quickly realized that the 8k Spirit I was carrying over from T14 was NOT cutting it in the transition from single-target to AoE.

It was a harsh reality, but one I am trying to adjust to.  Because, honestly, the game is not going to change around me – I need to evolve with the game.  I realize and accept this.

Healing with Effy

Healing with Effy

For my Monk, there was no adjustment, she is a completely new character to me.  I have no habits to carry over from Cataclysm.

But I healed in Wrath, and I remember the style of healing from then.  So let me try and impart some of that mentality onto those who may have also happily pushed it aside for triage, or did not raid before Cataclysm:

  • Blanket your heals (AoE, AoE, AoE and manage those HoTs)
  • ABC – Always Be Casting
  • Anticipate hits/Pre-heal
  • Snipe those heals!

Admittedly, I didn’t miss heal-sniping, but it has become clear to me over the course of T15 and playing my Monk, that it is once more the way of things.  Uplift and Revival are my lifeblood.  A well-timed cast of either is the only thing currently keeping me competitive as a 25man raid healer.

SotR - The State of Healing - Sif

Maybe 10man healing is different, but I can only speak to 25man.  I do not heal in 10mans near enough to comment there.

In our 25man, it is a regular occurrence for the Druid/Monk/Shaman healers to be topping the meters, and our Priest/Paladin healers to be further down.  I have finally started to figure out why – HoTs and AoEs.  Priests and Paladins tend to thrive in the triage situations with more powerful single-target healing and bubbles.

So let me try and give some more specific pointers for the tactics mentioned above:

  • Druids: Keep HoTs rolling – use these to your fullest advantage with other spells
  • Monks: Keep Renewing Mist rolling on as many targets as possible – Uplift often and fill-in with Soothing Mist to keep your Chi up
  • Paladins: Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn as often as possible – weave in single-target heals as needed
  • Disc Priests: Always be casting Smite/Penance – Spirit Shell/Prayer of healing on all parties as you can and Cascade/Halo on cooldown
  • Holy Priests: Prayer of Mending, Circle of Healing, Holy Word: Sanctuary and Cascade/Halo on cooldown – weave single-target heals as needed
  • Shaman: Healing Rain on cooldown – Chain Heal and Healing Stream Totem while HR is down

Note: Smart Heals are your friend.  They will target and respond quicker than you can.  (Except in the annoying instance they instead heal a pet.  heh)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am a firm believer that keeping the raid (especially the tanks) alive is the primary goal of the healers in any raid encounter.  But as we progress through T15, especially through Heroics, I am seeing more and more need for large amounts of raid-wide healing.  This lends credence to the idea of focusing on AoE heals, constant casting, and smart heals.

I also realize that this means we probably all need more Spirit than we originally think we do.  But with gear increasing dramatically, especially with another tier coming soon, this is less of an issue than I originally thought with my Monk.  She hit 10k fairly easily, and has been increasing in small increments beyond that since.  I consider myself to be good at managing my mana and continual casting is no issue, but I find that Spirit buffer to be good for clutch/oh-shit healing AKA Surging Mist.  (It is also really nice for fistweaving, but that is beside the point.  heh)

Just remember, and I personally find this the bitterest pill to swallow: blanketing heals and constantly casting will equal a large amount of overheals.  There is really no way around this, and it is just the name of the healing game as it currently sits.

These are my thoughts, discovered through trial and error and play on my various healers, and I hope they prove to be some useful pointers to others.

~ Effy

AND I have happy news to add to this State of the Raider post: a new Heroic kill!

Heroic Iron Qon down in 25man!

Heroic Iron Qon down in 25man!

Mistweaver Monk BiS 5.2

Monk T15 Fire-Charm

I am by no means an expert in theory-crafting or stat math, but I did spend a fair amount of time weighing stats for pieces that look useful to my Monk.  That is where this list comes from.  It is for my personal use throughout Tier 15 and progression through the Throne of Thunder (thunder… thunder…).  I just felt it would be nice to share with everyone else.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Throne of Thunder Bosses

Know your enemies (and your loot pinatas).

BiS Explanation

First thing I did to determine this BiS list was to identify my important stats and my goals with the gear.

Mistweaver Monk T15 Set

Not real excited about the 4-piece bonus, but obtaining 4 pieces is still the goal.

Fire-Charm Vestments

  • 2-Pieces: Your Renewing Mist heals for 15% more each time it travels to a new target.
  • 4-Pieces: Reduces the cooldown of your Thunder Focus Tea by 5 seconds.

Mistweaver Monk Stat Priority

I am seeing about 10-11k Spirit on other Monks, so I suppose that is what I am aiming for.  I could definitely use more Spirit, currently, but after playing a Shaman that seems like a ridiculous amount of Spirit.  ><  Comfortable Mana management is a primary goal in improving my gear.  Haste break is next most important.  After that, all my secondary stats are going as much into Crit and as little into Mastery as possible.  As I monitor the changes to Monk Mastery, this may change, but I do not foresee it yet.

  • Intellect > Spirit > Haste to 3145 > Crit > Mastery

Mistweaver Haste Break Points

I refer to this card of Haste Break Points from Binkenstein over at Totemspot often (AKA when I reforge), as I did previously with my Shaman.  Though, admittedly, the Monk break points are fairly simple.

Gemming

I try to always match sockets for the bonuses.  So socket bonuses were also figured in.

  • Meta – Burning (Intellect and Increased Crit Effect)
  • Red Socket – Brilliant (Straight Intellect)
  • Blue Socket – Purified (Intellect and Spirit)
  • Yellow Socket – Potent (Intellect and Crit)

BiS Wishlist (Normal)

The BiS pieces worked well around making my 4-piece in Normal.

BiS Wishlist (Heroic)

You might notice I only have two pieces of Tier gear listed here.  Well, that was how the BiS pieces fell, and honestly, if I get myself all decked out in full Heroic gear, I do not really think I will miss a few seconds of Thunder Focus Tea.  (So NOT excited about that 4-piece bonus.)

And can I just say that Ra-den must have a HUGE loot table??  Five pieces??

Piece by Piece

This is the list I pieced together to pull my BiS pieces from.  This can give me a source for gear progression.  Perhaps a guideline for pieces until we get further into Throne of Thunder.  With as low as my gear is currently (grumble) I will have to figure things case by case until my Monk is up to snuff.  That means, using this list to help decide whether LFR loot is going to be helpful, even though I know I did not list LFR pieces.  I was trying to keep the list manageable.  Or maybe I am just lazy.  🙂

Helm

  1. Fire-Charm Helm (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Twin Consorts
  2. Hood of Smoldering Flesh (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Megaera
  3. Fire-Charm Helm – Drops off Normal Twin Consorts
  4. Hood of Smoldering Flesh – Drops off Normal Megaera
  5. Spirit Keeper Helm – Leatherworking

Shoulder

  1. Fire-Charm Mantle (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Iron Qon
  2. Spaulders of Dinomancy (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Horridon
  3. Fire-Charm Mantle – Drops off Normal Iron Qon
  4. Spaulders of Dinomancy – Drops off Normal Horridon
  5. Heartroot Shoulderguards – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Exalted)

Chest

  1. Robes of Contagious Time (Heroic) – Drops off Ra-den
  2. Fire-Charm Vest (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Dark Animus
  3. Robes of Concussive Shocks (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Tortos
  4. Robes of Treacherous Ground (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Council of Elders
  5. Fire-Charm Vest – Drops off Normal Dark Animus
  6. Robes of Concussive Shocks – Drops off Normal Tortos
  7. Robes of Treacherous Ground – Drops off Normal Council of Elders
  8. Fancifully Frilled Tunic – Drops off world boss Oondasta
  9. Raiment of Silent Stars – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Revered)

Wrists

  1. Vampire Bat-Hide Bracers (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Tortos
  2. Infinitely Conducting Bracers (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Jin’rohk the Breaker
  3. Vampire Bat-Hide Bracers – Drops off Normal Tortos
  4. Infinitely Conducting Bracers – Drops off Normal Jin’rohk the Breaker
  5. Hearthfire Armwraps – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Friendly)

Hands

  1. Anima-Ringed Fingers (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Dark Animus
  2. Grips of Slicing Electricity (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Lei Shen
  3. Fire-Charm Handwraps (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Council of Elders
  4. Anima-Ringed Fingers – Drops off Normal Dark Animus
  5. Grips of Slicing Electricity – Drops off Normal Lei Shen
  6. Gloves of Enduring Renewal – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Honored)
  7. Fire-Charm Handwraps – Drops off Normal Council of Elders
  8. Gloves of Unliving Fossil – Drops off world boss Oondasta

Waist

  1. Worldbender Waistband (Heroic) – Drops off Ra-den
  2. Girdle of Night and Day (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Twin Consorts
  3. Girdle of Night and Day – Drops of Normal Twin Consorts
  4. Belt of Crushed Dreams – Drops off world boss Oondasta
  5. Martiean’s Splitleaf Girdle – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Revered)

Legs

  1. Kilt of Perpetual Genuflection (Heroic) – Drops off Ra-den
  2. Fire-Charm Legwraps (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Ji-Kun
  3. Roots of the Rampaging Earth (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Horridon
  4. Leggings of the Malformed Sapling (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Primordius
  5. Fire-Charm Legwraps – Drops off Normal Ji-Kun
  6. Leggings of the Malformed Sapling – Drops off Normal Primordius
  7. Roots of Rampaging Earth – Drops off Normal Horridon
  8. Trousers of Waning Shadow – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Honored)

Feet

  1. Roots of Pain (Heroic) – Drops off Ra-den
  2. Sandals of the Starving Eye (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Durumu the Forgotten
  3. Spirit Keeper Footguards – Leatherworking
  4. Sandals of the Starving Eye – Drops off Normal Durumu the Forgotten

Back

  1. Black Night Thundercloak (Heroic) – Drops off Ra-den
  2. Constantly Accelerating Cloak (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Dark Animus
  3. Deadly Glare Cape (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Durumu the Forgotten
  4. Shimmershell Cape (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Tortos
  5. Drape of Booming Nights (Heroic) – Drops of Heroic Jin’rohk the Breaker
  6. Constantly Accelerating Cloak – Drops off Normal Dark Animus
  7. Deadly Glare Cape – Drops off Normal Durumu the Forgotten
  8. Dreamweaver Drape – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Honored)
  9. Shimmershell Cape – Drops off Normal Tortos
  10. Drape of Booming Nights – Drops off Normal Jin’rohk the Breaker

Neck

  1. Soul Prism of Lei-Shen (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Lei Shen
  2. Passionfire Choker (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Twin Consorts
  3. Horridon’s Tusk Fragment (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Horridon
  4. Soul Prism of Lei-Shen – Drops off Normal Lei Shen
  5. Passionfire Choker – Drops off Normal Twin Consorts
  6. Choker of Stygimolochy – Drops off world boss Oondasta
  7. Mender’s Battletags – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Neutral)

Finger

  1. Ra-den’s Evolving Signet (Heroic) – Drops off Ra-den
  2. Durumu’s Captive Eyeball (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Durumu the Forgotten
  3. Ro’shak’s Rememberance (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Iron Qon
  4. Petrified Eye of the Basilisk (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Horridon
  5. Durumu’s Captive Eyeball – Drops off Normal Durumu the Forgotten
  6. Ro’shak’s Remembrance – Drops off Normal Iron Qon
  7. Ring of the Shado-Pan Assault – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Friendly)
  8. Signet of the Shado-Pan Assault – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Friendly)
  9. Eye of Oondasta – Drops off world boss Oondasta
  10. Ring of Shamuru – Drops off world boss Oondasta
  11. Petrified Eye of the Basilisk – Drops off Normal Horridon

Trinket

  1. Lightning Imbued Chalice (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Lei Shin
  2. Horridon’s Last Gasp (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Horridon
  3. Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Megaera
  4. Lightning Imbued Chalice – Drops off Normal Lei Shin
  5. Horridon’s Last Gasp – Drops from Normal Horridon
  6. Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault – VP from Shado-Pan Assault (Friendly)
  7. Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn – Drops off Normal Megaera

Weapon (Staff)

Unless something crazy happens and suddenly my luck with one hands and off-hands becomes uncannily good, I have decided to throw in the towel and just work towards a staff. My fellow healers can all fight over the shiny new healy claws. heh

  1. Giorgio’s Caduceus of Pure Moods (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Ji-Kun
  2. Suen-Wo, Spire of the Falling Sun (Heroic) – Drops off Heroic Twin Consorts
  3. Giorgio’s Caduceus of Pure Moods – Drops off Normal Ji-Kun
  4. Suen-Wo, Spire of the Falling Sun – Drops off Normal Twin Consorts